Educación Para Todos
Intensive Spanish Language and Volunteer Program
The school is located only 10 minutes from Central Park
I'm a journalist living in London and I attended classes at Educacion Para Todos for 5 weeks in 2007. I have to say the expertise of the teachers is outstanding, and I can not think of a more professional and hard-working organisation. If you are a beginner, as I was, the school takes you through a well-prepared programme, which covers everything you should learn. We also talked about all the issues in Guatemala and Latin America and it was an incredible way to improve my conversational spanish. You really are learning from incredible, wonderful teachers and very interesting people. The teachers I learnt form had years and years of experience and could explain any difficulties simply and expertly. I learnt so much about Guatemala as well as the language. They helped me volunteer at a local school and charitable organisation, Peile, which further improved my spanish and immersion into the culture of the city of Xela.
If I wanted any advice on where to go, the school was better than any travel guide would ever be. Looking back after I have been working back in London I have a huge affecion for the school and really hope I can return.
I stayed wth a lovely and very kind family and the school organised lots of fantastic excursions. Xela is a great place to study because other gringos are there if you really want to find them but also you can head away from the tourist trail and enjoy the beautiful city and improve your spanish. I could not fault my experience at Educacion para Todos and would highly recommend it - and I'm a difficult customer! The teachers are brilliant at their job and incredible, kind and interesting people.
EMMA RIGBY, England
I just can't recommend Educacion Para Todos (EPT) highly enough. I've studied several other languages in several other places, and the lessons at EPT were among the best I´ve ever received. Not only did I get a well-defined lesson plan custom-tailored to my needs and desires, but all of my teachers were of exceptionally high quality. I came to Guatemala speaking zero Spanish; after 7 weeks, I could speak with solid proficiency. Almost everywhere I go now, people with whom I speak are surprised to learn how little time I´ve been speaking the language. I credit this largely to the instruction I received at EPT. And the people couldn't have been nicer or more patient. EPT is just terrific!
Another great thing about the school is that it´s pretty small. This meant that it was easy to organize activities that suited my interests. I wanted to go to the markets at Momostenango and San Francisco del Alto, so EPT arranged the visits. I wanted to celebrate Thanksgiving with an intercultural dinner shared among teachers and students, so we did that, too. Our input was always sought before activities were arranged, and, therefore, we only did the things we wanted to do. The school's small size also made it easy for the teachers to get to know us (and our needs) well, and it allowed EPT to maintain (what I thought were) very high standards in its teachers. Other schools in Xela are a lot bigger and hire a ton of people. I´m sure they have excellent teachers at these schools, too, but I suspect, based solely on the numbers, that a large school might not manage the same consistency in its hires.
Not having studied at other schools in Xela, I really can't make comparisons or recommend one location over another. But if your question is simply "Would EPT be a great place to learn Spanish and experience Guatemala?", then my answer is an unreserved yes. EPT really knows how to teach Spanish in a way that´s both effective and fun. I would go back and do it all over again in a heartbeat.
Please feel free to contact me with any further questions about EPT, or Xela, or Guatemala more generally. I can be reached at goldberg . adam at gmail (no spaces), and am happy to provide any information that might be helpful in planning your trip to Guate.
Sincerely, Adam Goldberg, Los Angeles, California, USA
I had studied a few languages abroad before studying at EPT, but I was amazed at the consistency of the quality that their teachers delivered day after day. I was there two months, and even though I was working on relatively advanced material, the staff always provided me with something new and useful to hit upon. The classes themselves at EPT were some of the most professional I had received-- you can imagine the rate of progress, then, that any student might reach by taking advantage of the teachers' clarity and knowledge five hours a day, five days a week. As the others have commented, the city, the families, and the culture are reason enough to visit Xela, but the quality of this school makes EPT one of the best places to do so. The place is small, friendly, and I observed that it could satisfy everyone's level and needs. For all this I highly recommend it.
ELLIOT BOUTIN, Portland, ME
Hi, I have just gone through the experience of finding the best place to study Spanish and have just completed my course so thought I would share the experience with you. I hope it is of help. I have spent the past 4 weeks studying at Educacion para Todos in Quetzeltenango with my husband. My original reason for choosing this school was that they were very informative and professional both on their website and in my constant questions before leaving the UK. They were also happy to tailor make the course according to our needs. The experience at the school has exceeded our expectations. My husband and I both have very different levels of Spanish and the school has tailor made the tuition according to our ability and our future needs. They have also introduced us to Voluntary work that has enabled us to be fully immersed in the community and enabled us to form some good friendships with Guatemaltecos rather than just Gringoes!! We have also been impressed with the amount of extra corricular actrivites made available to us, from film evenings, to trips to Mayan ruins, to International dinners to share with students and teachers alike our different customs and ideas. Although my intention was to come to Guatemala to learn Spanish, we have learnt so much more. We have learnt about the history, the geography, the culture both historically and contemporary, something I did not expect before coming here.
REBECCA PANDIT, England
I was a student at Educacion Para Todos in the spring of 2001. I began my studies with the most basic, present-tense verb conjugations, and, eight weeks later, I had studied all but the most esoteric aspects of Spanish grammar. When I'd finished my studies I was freely communicating with the locals. I work in a restaurant here in the States, and the Latinos I work with are always amazed at how much Spanish I know. Educacion Para Todos was more than just Spanish grammar and conversation, though. Every week a guest speaker talked to the students about Guatemalan society or a Latino issue; the topics ranged from Mayan history to the Guatemalan civil war to the life of a modern farmer. My time in Guatemala and at Educacion Para Todos was one of the most stimulating and best of my life.
There is no other way to sufficiently broaden your perspective than to travel; not travel as a tourist, but rather to immerse yourself in the culture. EPT provides an opportunity to live with Guatemalans, speak the language, and participate in social/political situations. You won't get a package vacation deal through the school; you will receive something much more important: a deeper understanding of Guatemala, her people, and an appreciation of the complexities of the historical realities that shape the culture.
The three weeks I spent at Educacion para Todos were some of the most enjoyable weeks I have ever spent on a vacation. I improved my Spanish considerably, made great friends, learned to dance the Merengue, enjoyed the food and customs of a beautiful people and traveled throughout a very scenic country.
The instructors were amazingly correct in assessing my level and began instruction right where I needed. We were able to pinpoint in very short order where my mistakes were and were able to bring me into a new level of Spanish. I appreciated their personal attention and easy manner of instruction. During our “conversation” time, I learned much about the culture and political situation of Guatemala.
While at the school, I lived with two Guatemalan families thus immersing myself into their lifestyles by dining with them and going with them to church as well as the mercados. By the end of my stay, I was able to go shopping alone and purchase food for dinner.
Each week, the school hosted several extra curricular activities to which I always attended. These included side trips to hot springs, shopping in other villages as well as films in Spanish. The students learned to dance the Merengue after our international dinners, which were held once a week.
My experience in Guatemala and Educacion para Todos served to improve my Spanish and confidence in speaking, as well as gave me the opportunity to make life long friends in a country I can hardly wait to revisit.
In 2001 I decided it was seriously time to learn Spanish. A friend provided a reference to the Xela pages web site. I selected Educacion para Todos since their web site included a Spanish language curriculum framework. The native family providing housing was very gracious and warm. This provided the chance for exposure to cultural and communal experiences. Lessons on social customs, religious beliefs, and societal characteristics were all gleaned from this family arrangement. The classes were pleasant and the manner of instruction paralleled the framework on the web site. The pace was suitable to the level of the student. Educacion para Todos provided a well-rounded Spanish experience that I am now using as a middle school teacher in a predominantly latino community in Los Angeles.
Based on a recommendation from a friend, my wife and I stayed in Xela for 3 weeks during May 2001 and studied at Educacion Para Todos. We learned a great deal in that short time and would recommend this school highly. The school is small and has a long-standing relationship with its host families. The core teaching staff is outstanding.
At busier times the school utilizes additional teachers, many of whom are excellent and, naturally, some who aren't. It is still possible to learn much from the less experienced teachers. Being committed to learning and using some portion of your afternoon free-time to study will help you improve rapidly. If you are unhappy with a teacher-student pairing, or with your host match, the school will try to find a better fit.
Educacion Para Todos actively incorporates Guatemalan culture and political history into its teaching. You may find that the role of the United States in Guatemalan history is not viewed favorably -- but this provides for stimulating discussion (yes, political discussion in Spanish after just a couple weeks!).
Xela is a good setting for Spanish immersion. Apart from the student hangouts, there are many opportunities to speak Spanish on the streets. The city is navigable with a variety of restaurants and bars, and proximity to natural attractions.
Que les vaya bien!
This school has been an excellent place for me to learn Spanish and to get in touch with history, culture and everyday-life of Guatemala. The teachers are very skilful, patient and helpful and I could learn in my individual rhythm. I estimated the lecture wich were given to us by different Guatematekien persons, such as Maya-priest, a woman who is a social worker etc. Living in a family in Xela gave me the opportunity to learn to know everyday-life in Guatemala and made me use my Spanish .I can recommend "educacion para todos" to all who want to learn more than you will be able to learn out of a schoolbook!
"I studied for 3 weeks at the Educacion Para Todos" school in Quetzaltenengo in June 2002 and had a GREAT experience there. The teachers were friendly and excellent, the atmosphere casual and fun. What's really special about the school is all the great field trips, films and guest speakers they have. While I was there we had 3 speakers: a man talked about Mayan spiritual beliefs, a social worker gave a talk on street children, gender issues and women's rights, and an agricultural specialist spoke about pesticide use and the need for land reform. I learned a great deal about the history of Guatemala and the socio-economic effects of their and our government's present and past policies.
I enjoyed the family I stayed with very much. Just be sure they cook with bottled water so you don't get sick! A wonderful group of people own and run the school. I highly recommend it!"
Proctor, Montana, USA
I attended Educación Para Todos for three weeks in February and March of 2000. It was one of the major highlights of my experience in Guatemala. The school was recommended to me by several people who knew about my interest not only in finding good Spanish teachers, but by people who also knew that I wanted to learn about important social/political issues in Guatemala. I could not have asked for a better quality experience on both levels than the one I received at Educación Para Todos. The level of teaching skill I received in terms of the Spanish language was the best I had ever received. I had studied Spanish for years in high school and college, had attended Spanish school in Spain, and still, I learned more about grammar in those 3 weeks that has stayed with me than from several months of study in other places. There are lots of language schools one could choose to attend in Guatemala with native Spanish speakers, but what I found to be unique at this school (after attending others) was an emphasis on the skill and art of teaching. The quality of teaching was excellent. But I learned a lot more at this school than Spanish grammar. I had a much more holistic education than I ever expected. There is a level of social consciousness among this skilled group of teachers that has a lot to offer students who are interested in really understanding the history and lives of people in Guatemala. From the speakers they bring to the school, to the film collection they have, to the field trips and volunteer opportunities, and just the wisdom that these teachers possess...there is an opportunity to go much deeper than just the study of the Spanish language. And I found that by taking advantage of the wealth of knowledge and wisdom that the school offers on this level, my entire Guatemala experience was greatly enriched. In addition, I had a fantastic home stay experience, which was an important part of my really being in Guatemala. Three years later, I still am impacted by what I learned there. I refer to my grammar notes frequently, and I realize that my world view has been forever expanded from the experience. If I had it do over, I'd go to the same school again and stay longer. I would recommend this school whole-heartedly to anyone who values quality and depth in education.
1625 Osceola St.
Denver, CO 80204
I studied at Educacion para todos for three weeks and had an excellent time. Quetzaltenango was so much fun-- great people, places, food, dancing, volunteering opportunities (like the orphanage and Habitat for Humanity), and teachers. The other students and I became very close and have met up (almost a year later) on the other side of the globe. As far as the classes went, I never knew how much you could learn one-on-one. I came in needing an advanced grammar review, a little vocab, and some coloquial pointers, and after that the teachers went to the local bookshop and chose some great novels by Guatemalan writers to study together. Even though I came in at a relatively high level, and they accomodated my needs just fine, there were many students there with virtually no Spanish when they got there-- they were getting around just fine after a month there. The homestay was also a great time-- sometimes I would bring home random vegetables I had never seen and my host mother would cook it up Guatamalan style (cooking is a hobby of mine). Anyway, I went into the experience blind, and had a great time, so if you want to ask me more detailed questions, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org .
I had a wonderful experience at Educación Para Todos. It is a smaller school, so the atmosphere was much more appealing to me than the larger schools in Xela. All of the teachers know who you are and are interested in getting to know you.
I was at the school for four months and loved every minute of it. After lunchtime on Wednesdays we would head to the soccer field sometimes taking on other schools in town. Every Friday we had a dinner with all of the teachers and students. The school also offers many trips to the beach, ruins, hot springs, along with many other exciting places.
Studying one on one for four hours a day really allows you to get immersed into the language. I had some of the best Spanish teachers of my life at Educación Para Todos. It does not matter weather your goal is to study Spanish for fun or you are a serious student, the teachers adjust themselves to your needs.
Staying with a host family was very important to me. My family was so good to me and I was really able to practice what I learned in class at home.
I hope that you enjoy your time as much as I did in Guatemala. I am looking forward to going back soon. There is too much to see, do and learn and the time goes by way too quickly. The best part is meeting some many great people. Enjoy yourself!
"My time studying at Educacion para Todos was the most productive three months of my life. The school's rigorous language curriculum, their strong belief in teaching not just language but history and politics, coupled with an open mindedness and constant sense of humor, made for a very effective program. I returned with the ability to engage more fully as a resident of Los Angeles, CA and the ability to work more effectively as a community organizer. And the friendships and encounters that blessed me in Guatemala will always have a special place in my heart."
Los Angeles, CA